New home construction expected to lift in December quarter

by Madison Utley17 Sep 2020

New home sales data released this week has confirmed HomeBuilder will support building activity and protect jobs into the December 2020 quarter, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA). 

The HIA considers its New Home Sales report, a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the five largest states, as a strong and accurate indicator of future trends in the residential building industry.

“New Home sales in the three months to August are 61.3% higher than the previous quarter, when confidence in the market was depleted and new home sales reached the lowest level on record. Without intervention, a significant contraction of work on the ground would have occurred in the second half of 2020 which meant up to half a million jobs were at risk," said HIA chief economist Tim Reardon.

“The improvement in the number of New Home Sales over the most recent three months will see a lift in the number of homes under construction in the December quarter, compared to what would have been the case without HomeBuilder. 

However, while the figures contained in the report were received positively, Reardon noted the strength of new home sales has not been consistent across all jurisdictions.

“Western Australia has seen an exceptional bounce in sales, up by 91.1% over the past six months compared to a year earlier. This is due to combination of state and Australian Government programs and pent-up demand for housing," he explained.

“Queensland has also seen an increase in sales over this period.

“New home sales were static or lower for the past 6 months in Victoria, New South Sales, and South Australia as the pickup in sales due to HomeBuilder have not offset the losses due to the COVID recession. A sharp contraction in sales in Victoria for the month of August is due to the stage 4 restrictions and the closure of display centres."

Country wide, Queensland increased by 19.1% in August compared to July 2020, followed by New South Wales and Western Australia at 11.7% and 11.4% respectively. South Australia increased by 7.4% while Victoria declined by 14.4%. 

Over the six months to August, sales decreased in New South Wales (-0.1%), South Australia (-8.6%) and Victoria (-12.0%) compared to the same time last year, while they increased in Western Australia (91.1%) and Queensland (4.2%).